We all must have seen the little ants clustering around small food particles in our homes. We are also familiar with the little dwelling places of these ants in our garden. Ants are basically the eusocial insects belonging to the family Formicidae. Well! Herein, we present to you some more amazing facts of ants which would surely surprise you.
Ants are older than humanity!
Yes, according to some archaeologists, humans are just babies on the planet earth. It is notable that ants evolved during the mid-Cretaceous period around 110-130 million years ago during the time when dinosaurs were prominent. Humans have been on the earth from about 2 million years ago.
The largest ant is a fossil today.
Well! The largest ant is a fossilized specimen now which had a length of 2.4 inches. However, the most interesting fact is the presence of wingspan of 6 inches. Yes, you found it right. Titanomyrma giganteum was the largest species of ant which is not alive today. It was nearly 6 cm long with a wingspan of 6 inches.
Ants can talk.
Yes, ants can communicate with the other members of their colony via special chemical hormones called pheromones. Via pheromones, the scout ants send simple messages to their other colony-members about danger or location of food. These chemicals are detected via the antennae which has sense of taste and smell.
Ants practice slavery.
Ants may appear as small creatures but they are complex living societies comprising of a queen ant and numerous other ants like scouts, soldiers and many more. The strong colonies of ants raid the other weaker ant colonies and forcibly acquire the young ants of other colonies to work as slaves for the complete colony. Apart from forcibly capturing young ants, the eggs and larvae are also stolen. This practice is scientifically called ‘dulosis’.
Oldest Ant is 30 year old.
Yes, you read right. The oldest ant in records has lived for thirty years. Ants need not necessarily be short-lived despite many of them have a short lifespan. However, the queen ant is said to have an older lifespan than the other ants living in the colony.
Small size of ants is advantageous.
Despite the ants have unusually small size; they have exceptionally thick muscles. Due to the ratio between the size and thickness of muscles, ants are capable of carrying heavy objects weighing 50 times more than their body-weight. It is notable that ants carry the heavy weights with their mandibles.
Certain plants scientifically called Myrmecophytes are equipped with naturally occurring hollows wherein ants dwell. Thus, ants enjoy the luxury of spacious accommodation and feed upon the sugary secretions from the plants body. In return, ants protect the plants from animals and do not allow parasite plants to attack the Myrmecophytes.
Ants can run quickly.
Ants have six legs and each leg tend to have three joints. Thus, ants are very strong and they are capable of running quickly. If man could acquire the speed of ant than the speed of man could equalize the speed of a racehorse.
There are more than 12,000 species of ants all over the world.
Yes, ants are widespread and there are numerous ant-species on the planet. As of 2010, 12.565 species were recorded in a database called ‘antbase’.
The Ants have a large population
Well! It is astounding to note that there are more than ten quadrillion ants on the planet Earth which is drastically large number especially on comparison with the human population which is just 7 billion.
It is notable that we tried to cover numerous fascinating facts about ants however; if we missed some kindly mention them in comments.
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